BBB & Ryan's Tip: Protect Yourself from " Storm Chasers" after a Natural Disaster

March 26, 2021
Beware of Storm Chasers
(Photo by E.L. Conley)

Better Business Bureau is warning homeowners affected by a natural disaster to beware of " Storm Chasers" and out-of-town contractors soliciting business.

There are some things you should do when hiring any contractors. Here are some tips to watch out for:

  • Do your research: Look up the business on BBB to make sure they are well rated. Get references from friends and family. Make sure the contractor you are hiring is registered with the state.
  • Be careful of the door to door contractors: Many areas require a solicitation permit to go door-to-door. Check to see if your area needs a permit and, if so, make sure they provide it to you. Be careful about allowing anyone you don’t trust on the roof or other areas of your home. Some unethical contractors could even create damage to get the job.
  • Do not pay for the work in advance. It’s a red flag if a contractor asks for full or half payment upfront. Get a written contract that outlines the price, work to be done, and amount of insurance coverage.
  • Get a copy of their insurance.
  • Pay by credit card so you have additional protection.
  • Watch out for high-pressure sales tactics: such as offering “deep discounts” and “deals” if they are hired right away.
  • Get at least three quotes from prospective contractors: so you’re being proactive in making an informed decision rather than reacting to sales pressure.
  • Check their vehicle to make sure they have proper business markings such as company name, phone number, and license plates in the state where you live.

Tell them that every GAF Master Elite® and Certified™ Contractor is properly licensed, adequately insured, has a proven reputation, and is committed to ongoing professional training in order to ensure a quality installation.

BBB is also warning contractors to beware Storm Chasers who offer to pay local construction companies substantial amounts of money to use the business's established name, reputation and phone.

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